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Frilled Shark With 300 Teeth Caught Off Australia

It's described as a 'living fossil'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2015 9:49 PM CST
Updated Jan 22, 2015 1:03 AM CST

(Newser) – Fishermen off the coast of Australia were startled to haul in something none of them had ever seen before: a rare species of "living fossil" shark virtually unchanged since before dinosaurs went extinct. The frilled shark they caught was around 5 feet long, almost as big as they get, reports Discovery. The creature, whose species dates back 80 million years, has a long, eel-like body with three fins on the back and has 300 teeth in 25 rows.

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"Once you're in that mouth, you're not coming out," a spokesman for the South East Trawl Fishing Industry Association tells ABC Rural. "Good for dentists, but it is a freaky thing. I don't think you would want to show it to little children before they went to bed." He says the rare beast, which is now with a local museum, was caught at a depth where most trawlers don't fish, so there is little danger of repeat catches. "This guy was just unlucky," he says. (Scientists recently identified a prehistoric Scottish sea monster that resembles a "sinister dolphin.")

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